Local

September 3, 2013

Meet D-M Staff Sergeant’s roller derby alter-ego: Judo Gnomi

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Hilary Middleton, 355th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician (center), prepares to start a bout with the Tucson Roller Derby in Tucson, August 10. During a bout, players try to keep members of the opposing team from getting past them and scoring.

The Air Force requires all members to be ‘fit to fight’, but not everyone lifts weights, hits a punching bag or runs on a treadmill. One Airman gives the phrase a different meaning.

Staff Sgt. Hilary Middleton, 355th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, skates with the local Tucson Roller Derby league.

Middleton, also known as Judo Gnomi, pronounced “you don’t know me”, on the track, has been skating since she was two years old and jumped at this opportunity when she learned about the league from a former first sergeant.

“I went to a couple bouts, and I was like ‘I can do that!’” Middleton said. “So, I called up the recruiting people and was on skates the next Tuesday.”

To earn a place on the team, you have to show what you can do in skates, Middleton said. Applicants have to display their ability to stop, turn and compete.

Middleton plays on two teams, the Saddletramps and the Copper Queens. The Copper Queens is one of three home teams, and the Saddletramps is an all-star travel team. Both teams are part of the TRD.

Middleton explained that she easily made it onto the Copper Queens team and it was only about three months until she joined the Saddletramps.

Not only is roller derby a hobby for Middleton, it also plays a key part in her Air Force career. Being in the league and on two different teams, Middleton has to skate several hours a week to maintain her team’s and league’s standards.

“I have two different requirements for each team, and also our league has different requirements,” Middleton said. “I always exceed those requirements. I usually skate at least 12 hours a week; sometimes, it can go up to 16 if there is a bout.”

Not only does roller derby challenge her physically but it also helps with her mental fitness and resiliency.

“I love to hit people and not get in trouble for it,” Middleton said. “It is a huge stress relief.”

During a bout, Middleton has to make quick decisions about her opponent’s next move at the same time keeping up, blocking, and helping her team members get around their opponent’s. To accomplish this goal, she is allowed to legally hit opposing players in order to keep them from scoring.

Due to the nature of the game, Middleton had to get permission from her commander and go through a mandatory risk assessment. When she told her commander she gets to hits people, her commander requested a demonstration.

“My commander said, ‘Show me.’” Middleton said. “I had to actually show my commander how we hit each other. She wanted me to actually hit her and I got to hit her. It was awesome.”

Even with being part of the TRD, Middleton acknowledges that the Air Force mission has to come first.
During the derby season she has had to deploy, but she says being part of the team while in the Air Force has made her a better Airman by empowering her to do more, both at work and at the roller derby.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

DoD takes steps to aid absentee voters

WASHINGTON – As the Nov. 4 midterm election nears, Defense Department officials are taking steps to ensure absentee voting is even easier for service members, their families and overseas citizens via FVAP.gov. In coordination with the military services and State Department, Absentee Voting Week begins today, aiming to raise awareness and remind voters of important...
 
 

New EPR challenges status quo

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – The enlisted performance report is going to drastically change. These changes seek to combat inflated ratings, which have been a prevalent complaint from Airmen over the years. The change is right around the corner and many Airmen are asking themselves, “How will it affect future promotions, and what can I do...
 
 

55th Rescue Squadron returns home

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Camilla Elizeu) U.S. Air Force Maj. Stephanie Harley, 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bio Engineering Flight commander, and son welcome home Capt. Colin Harley, 55th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pavehawk pilot, at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 11. Capt. Harley has just returned from a five-month deployment to Afghanistan.
 

 

AF to implement TDY policy changes

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) — Recently, the Air Force started implementing two temporary duty policy changes that will impact travel reimbursements for Airmen. The first change, which took effect Oct. 1, made changes to the Joint Travel Regulations, Reimbursable and Incidental Expense Policy. The second will be a change in long-term TDY per...
 
 

OPSEC: Everyone’s responsibility

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Everyone who’s been around the military has heard the term Operations Security, or OPSEC, but do they really know what it means? Many people think OPSEC is all about classified information, when the opposite is true; OPSEC targets critical and sensitive unclassified information. OPSEC is a fundamental principle of the Air...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin